“I can’t see the future anymore doc.” Joey said as he stared out the window.
The heat coming from the old heater made him feel like there was a witch in his stomach, brewing up something awful.
Though he was facing away from Dr. Kell, the click of Kell’s pen, and his wool sweater scratching against the leather chair the doctor always sat in, sounded like disappointment.
“What I think about you doesn’t matter. All that matters is your relationship with yourself.” Dr. Kell would say.
The irony of that whole statement was Dr.Kell said that as he held Joey’s return to work papers; so Kell’s opinion did matter, it matter a whole hell of a lot.
“So you’re suicidal?” Dr. Kell said.
For someone who was paid by the hour to listen, Dr.Kell sure as shit didn’t do much of that.
“No, I’m not suicial. I’m not a danger to myself, or to anyone else.” Joey said.
The doctor reclined in the foe leather chair and Joey was reminded of a guitar. Being ‘open’ and ‘honest’ was real hard to do when Joey was also playing puppet master. Manipulative? Yes, very much; but this was his life, his freedom, they were discussing, and while Joey was suicidal to a degree, the whole purpose of taking ones own life was doing it on your own terms; and answering Kell’s questions honestly, would strip Joey of all that freedom.
“So explain.” Kell said.
His tone was soft and curious, like he genuinely wanted to know.
“I guess I’m just lacking hope. Like I look around and I feel so out of control. It’s like no amount of planning is ever enough, so why even bother. You know?” He asked, turning around to look at the doctor.
Kell’s notepad, that he usually kept upward, allowing Joey to only see it’s back, was lying flat on the coffee table. The contents of the yellow legal pad was messy; scripples that probably only Kell would ever be able to read, little doodles; it was comforting. If Joey knew anything about the doc, it was that Kell liked order. His presentations were calculated, he took his time to write and rewrite; making sure that everything was in order and legible for anyone who needed to look at it. This, his notes on Joey were for his eyes only.
“That’s life.” The doctor said.
Joey was never one for violence, but never in his life had Joey ever wanted to slap someone as hard as he wanted to slap Kell right now.
Joey’s face must have been talking loud and clear by the way Kell held up his hands, palms facing Joey; a silent request for him to bear with the doctor.
“Being able to tell the future would be awesome. But where’s the fun in that?” Kell asked.
Joey shook his head.
“You’re not listening.” Joey said, turning his attention back to the window.
“But I am. A year and a half ago you’d come in here with big dreams. Hopes and dreams of making things better. Better for you and better for everyone around you. But I think this year has taught you that while having a plan is nice, somethings in life just can’t be planned for.” Dr. Kell said.
Kell’s words brought back memories of Frankie, Joey’s fiance. They’d planned their whole lives; where they went to college, moving to LA, buying their frist home, starting their media company. Those were all things Joey and Frankie had sat down and obsessed over for months. But one thing they didn’t plan for, one thing they never thought to plan for was a car accident and a drunk doctor. Frankie could have lived, he should have lived; but one asshole deicded to get drunk on the job, and poof, there goes decades of planning on Frankie and Joey’s parts.
“So what am I supposed to do, pretend like I can control everything?” Joey said.
Joey was beginning to crack; life was asking too much of him, and Joey was at his wits end.
“You just have to learn to accept it. Find the strength to make changes were you can, and accept the things you can’t change.” Dr. Kell said.
Joey looked out the window, eyes fixed on the snow collecting on the ground, and shook his head.
“So your asking me to surrender?” He asked.
“To the things you can’t control? Yes.” Said the doctor.
“So no more planning?” He asked, this time turning around to face the shrink.
“No, I’m saying you need to realize you can’t control everything. As wonderful as it would be to be able to do that, you can’t. And trying to control everything will keep you here.” Dr. Kell said, throwing his hands in the air.
Joey looked out the small window of the quiet room and into the main part of the physic ward. He couldn’t help but wonder; did they loose their ways too?
Dr. Kell clicked his pen again, bring Joey’s attention back to him.
“I got a writing assignment for you?” Said Kell.
Joey wanted to roll his eyes. No writing assignments. While he was a writer, he preferred to do his writing on a computer rather than in a fifty cent journal.
“Hey, if you agree to this assignment, I can score you some supervised computer time.” Said Dr. Kell.
That perked Joey right up, which caused Kell to laugh.
“Tell me, what does the future look like? Both in a best, and not so best case senario.” Said Dr.Kell.
Joey smiled, and Kell couldn’t help but smile back.
“Okay, I’ve got you.” Said Joey, nodding his head.
The men smile at one another before rising from their chairs and shaking hands.
Then, opening the door the two stepped back out onto the unit.